Familiar to Chicago’s Englewood area, Geno Pacino grows up to offer a unique perspective through his music! He has been putting in work getting his word out with a 14 track mixtape on DatPiff, LP & EP’s, countless music videos, remix’s, singles, and collaborations. No rookie in the slightest, he can even freestyle bars, off the top is not a skill many so called rappers can even claim. Turning moves to get his name known, he was featured on Hip Hop Rebel, interviewed on BootCamp Radio, performed live a Sofar Sounds Chicago among other venues, and most recently released a new music video.
Pacino Season continues with Geno’s latest music video for RUDY RAY, a single off his LP PACINO SEASON. He has many music video, but this time he gets animated with his character as he roasts old school rappers with big ego’s. An energetic beat to get hyped up with, stunting lyrics like “Tried to tell me he was gone for a minute, I said n*gga you was never back, top 5 mother f*cka you was never that… On the grind mother f*cker you was never that”. Should keep you motivated and on your grind because you can expect Geno Pacino is going to call you out! Catch him on Fab 5 Radio Show April 5th to see what he has planned next.
A message lost on too many people, living life fast paced, just trying to survive can get you lost in the ebb n flow of society. Artists like Marko Stat$ come back around every now and again to remind us to stand still for a moment and be grateful! Because some times life does not go your way but you got to FACE IT. Coming around to to a realization from his last release ME AGAINST THE WORLD, Marko Stat$ continues to grow as an artist and even, more recently, challenges his vocal range and performance.
Up and coming artist Franchika making extra moves this month, while everybody is in a frenzy. Getting her name out there with the two releases; a music video and a single! Coming out of Chicago and currently with 323 Music Group, shared with artists like Ravyn Lenae, Adam Ness and other Chicago artists. She has real talent with her voice, being able to control it with ease and hitting high and low notes, switching between singing and rapping without a problem.
WHAT THEY DO was released last year, but it is still jammin’. Franchika pulls off a really cool music video, puttin her acting skills to the test, over lyrics and scenes of infidelity! Really showing off her vocal skill with that song, of course you got to be A1 when you kick someone to the curb. Her most recent release BONNIE is much more sensual and seductive, getting deep into the R&B vibes. The forbidden fruit is the most sweet, but sometimes toxic, and BONNIE might have you itchin’ for that treat you know you should not have! Franchika easily controls the mood of a room with her music and we are ready for more!
A group with their own unique brand of Hip Hop, Chicago trio Handsome Naked is coming in with a HEAT CHECK, because they have been on fire. As shown at the start of the video accompanying the song, HEAT CHECK is a term in basketball while you play, to determine your consistency. These 3 basketball fans have been running game in their own respect as well, making big moves as artists. Appearing on Billboard, NBC and the Chicago Tribune, as well as performing at known venues in Chicago; Zanies, Lincoln Hall and the Laugh Factory. Choosing those venues because they like to express what they would call Comedic Hip Hop.
You can get a hint of their humour in the video itself as well as their lyricism as they fumble and goof around all while a maintaining a serious demeanor. Yet despite their antics they are actually pretty impressive on the mic. Some of their more savory lyrics by Eric Oren, “no regrets, I’m working up some butt sweat, I need to destress,” and by Chucho Perez, “Better check on your diet, you lookin’ unfit, gotta check on that climate, we don’t ever cool it. Can you check why they quiet, when they see we legit?” With their beats produced by Brad Kemp, they really are already lit, maintaining multiple videos and and songs, their playlist should be fun to dive into, give them a follow.
Khid Nando continues to release tracks that builds a different picture with every release. Getting creative with his lyrical content and energy between KHAOTIC MIND and his most recent release OVERSEAS. Where OVERSEAS presents more confidence and manifesting messages, KHAOTIC is more impassioned and genuine with its purpose. Even following up on A DAY AT THE KHARNIVAL, where the energy is turnt up, Khid Nando is keeping it fresh with the different ideas behind every song, and real dope beats back him up.
Shay Budda Delo aka Deloney is a mysteriously talented Chicago rapper. Staying low key and popping out once in a while to rock a dope song at an open mic. His sound and style is a mesh of influences depending on the song. This record he has with a visual called QUALIFY, shows him doing street activities such as riding BMX’s, shooting hoops, and being posted up, while rapping in London with his homies. Every shot looks straight out of a scene from the popular Netflix street gangster show, Top Boy.
Deloney raps “If you not speaking Gaupanese leave me alone mane, if you’s a broke ***** I don’t even know ya name...” Ending the verse with “I can’t afford to let you play me for these tokens.” Right off the bat, (as he’s holding a bat or piece of wood in later scenes and shots) you feel the dark but very real and visceral energy emanating from Shay Budda Delo. After the visual you are left scratching your head and wondering how he has London connections being a Chicago rapper, definitely impressive. The song kicks, go stream it now!
The Surge, member of the Mic Commanders, and known for his intensely witty, sharp lines, and distinctive voice, recently dropped a hilarious animated video to the lead single from his 2020 LP SURGE IN GENERAL WARNING. The LP runs 17 tracks long at almost a full hour, and featuring only one Mic Commanders comrade, SamIam the MC. The lead record from the album, RAP RAP RAP, produced by Dreamtek, has a visual out now, done by Big Herc.
The visual is incredibly impressive for animating different characters and scenarios involving phones and social media, notably that of Surge in a library. Done in a comical animation style, it is bound to have you laughing while pondering the harsh words from beginning to end. The Surge basically calls out how rappers self promote on social media platforms, namely Facebook. He strings multi-syllabic rhyme schemes in an explanatory manner regarding the different habitual tendencies of rappers.
Some of the specific things he calls rappers out for are: tagging 99+ Facebook users in a music promotion post, going live on Facebook with nothing worthwhile to say, or artists having meaningless discussions in an endless thread of comments. Every line hits home in terms of the daily activities seen from local rappers. The Surge is highlighting symptoms of some the twisted normalcies we find in the music business.
Mic Logik of Chi-NativeEntertainment recently released GONE featuring E.Brown, another talented Chicago rap veteran. The song surrounds the idea of how music is idolized and elevated only after an emcee has passed on. It is a slightly dark, lyrical, laid back, boom bap single that makes one introspective about their own path in the music business.
Mic Logik’s first verse starts in with lines that evoke thought, “So what did you expect? Some one to give you all the keys? For record deals I swear that y’all would fall to knees!” Eventually leading into a line with a que from your stereotypical friend that says they will come out to a show, but obviously they do not because they are full of air. “Hey whens your next show? I’ll be there bro! Trust me,” Mic Logik responds, “I lost count how many times I killed at SubT.” That line has to be relatable to every working artist that performs in Chicago, even if you are not familiar with Subterranean. Bringing in that other frat bro voice seals the cynical humor on the record.
The subsequent line again attacks that feeling when someone runs into a friend or acquaintance, just how quick they are to say they will come out to a show knowing they never will. “Be authentic, keep all that fake love please, I’ve been telling y’all forever Mic Logik’s a must see!” And he’s honestly right, he is, either by himself or rocking mics with WRDS and I.Deal of Chi-Native Ent.
Mic Logik can flow, write, freestyle, has a steadily growing catalog, and he has been sharpening his hip hop craft for a while. He utilizes tight succinct rhyme structures, and he is great at staying on topic and leading a listener from the beginning to the end of a 16 or 32 bar verse. He also has a dope feature and beat selection, and can perform all of his material live. Mic Logik, like most of the elite emcees circulating through Wicker Park on any given Tuesday night, can rap over an instrumental with out any backing tracks.
When the hook of the song comes in, it is a slightly complex but effective audience grabber that the crowd will be able to hear a few times and repeat back to get into the rhythm of GONE. As well as further exploring the concept of accolades while alive vs milestones while dead. “They gon’ miss me when I’m gone, gone. So today you’re hot, then tomorrow somebody new! They gon’ love me when I’m gone, gone. I’ve watched them come and go, acting like something was due! They gon’ miss me when I’m gone, gone. And through all the ups and downs, I always tried to stay strong. They gon’ love me when I’m gone, gone. And when my spirit rolls on, you resurrect me with songs.”
E.Brown drops hard bars and schemes throughout with rhymes like; “I don’t expect much, but it sucks when people neglect, that we do it for love, cause some of these clubs don’t cut the check.” As well as “Got more cosigns than a notary, so my shows supposed to be packed wall to wall, with all my homies g, but look out in the crowd its all strangers, most notably.” This song is a great example of staying on topic. Every single bar touches upon the theme of a lack of support for being a musician or artist while being alive. Mentally battling the negative people around you is a struggle many will face within their lifetime as a creative, and GONE illustrates this idea quite well.
The songs production was done by Chicago’s own, Custom Made. If you are not familiar with his sound or work, we highly suggest checking out his catalog of instrumentals and songs he has produced for a plethora of Chicago talent. The song ends with a chant style bridge leading back into the hook leaving a listener pondering how people will view or think of their music once they are star dust and ashes. GONE is a song every creative needs to hear, especially if they have dealt with fake support or a lack there of.
StankNasty is back and picking up the energy with his new single to follow up on CARNAGE. Even as a young artist he quickly learned how to put together a talented team to execute his idea. With producer Jonathan McBride, guitarist Avery Lopez backing him up, and Gerald Leibnitz mastering the audio, StankNasty can go in on the mic SCATTER BRAINED. To define that is a mind typically chaotic, and under stress, unhinged. Try to catch up with his lyrics and see if you do not feel the same way!
Another example of a powerful female figure in the music industry is in Bella Bahhs. Back with a new music video, following up from 2016, for her single BLACK POWER; she reps her heritage and her skin proudly. Calling herself a raptivist, you can hear her ideals in her lyrics, “Know where I come from, I’m proud of. All of my heroes are Panthers. Some say I’m biased, well kinda. We got the juice like Wakanda.” The song is full of references to Black power and growth.
Music is not the only thing on her mind as well, she does not call her self a raptivist just for her lyricism. Bella is active in resistance, attending and performing at rallies against police brutality, Moms United Against Violence and Incarceration events, and other civil rights efforts. She even takes part in photo, film and acting, having major credits in IVORY AND GOLD: A DANCE FOR FILM, and also in the THIRD STRIKE for In Justice For All Film Festival. Most recently she featured in a short film by Briana Clearly, there is a lot this woman is putting on her plate! Unafraid, It seems Bella Bahhs has real power within her to make waves in this world, and those Bahhs are no joke either.